by Marzia Garin, Education and Scholarships Coordinator, Madagascar
It’s September in Andavadoaka, and like many places across the world, the school year is about to begin. However, unlike many places across the world, these students are genuinely excited about the coming academic year. These children are Blue Ventures (BV) Scholars and wouldn’t be attending school at all without this vital leg up, and their joy is unmistakable. In 2006 Blue Ventures launched the scholarship programme that provides children in the Velondriake region with funding, so that they can attend school in either the village of Andavadoaka, or the towns of Morombe or Tulear. The Blue Ventures’ education programme selects the scholarship recipients by their financial need and academic achievement. Each year the number of students requesting sponsorship from Blue Ventures has grown and every year more and more children are being given opportunities for an education that would otherwise be impossible for them. In the current school year (2012-13), a total of 195 children from across Velondriake will receive scholarship assistance to attend school and to purchase the supplies necessary for their education.
We are very pleased with the results obtained by our students; 100% of the students who were in primary school have passed the exam ‘CEPE’ (Certificat d’études Primaires élémentaires), similar to the UK SAT exams, and have progressed onto secondary school. The older students have also had success with 10 scholars passing the ‘BEPC’ (Brevet de etude Premier Cycle) test and graduated from secondary school to ‘Lycée’. They have had to leave their villages and move to either Morombe or Tulear because there is no lycée in Andavadoaka. However, the news that makes us happiest is that our first scholar, Leonard Rodrigue, will go to University this year,, studying Natural Sciences.
For the greater part of 2012 in Madagascar, teachers of urban public schools have been on strike. This has had a devastating impact on students; thousands of them have not received grades since January. This means unfortunately that the students who finished in the school year 2011-12 can’t go to university until next year as they will have to wait to receive their results. On a more encouraging note, the scholars who finished school in the 2010-2011 year may enrol at university. This means that Leonard Rodrigue, who finished school in 2011, can finally realise his dream to attend University.
The education team wishes him and all the students a successful and rewarding school year 2012-2013! We also want to say a big THANK YOU to the MacArthur Foundation and our generous donors as they make these scholarships possible.
If you are interested in donating to our scholarship programme please click here to go to our website.
- Read about our Scholars Coordinator Viviane’s experience with buying new school materials in this blog: Mission Possible